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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 1 - 7  > 40,000 people surround Diet in defense of Article 9
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2017 November 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

40,000 people surround Diet in defense of Article 9

November 4, 2017
On November 3, the day marking the 71st anniversary of the promulgation of the pacifist Constitution, protest actions against Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s attempt to amend Article 9 took place at various places across the country, including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.

In Tokyo, 40,000 people gathered near the Diet building. Streets and parks nearby were filled with protestors holding placards that read, “No to Article 9 amendment!” and “Protect the Constitution!”

Takada Ken of the citizens’ organization opposing constitutional revision gave a speech on behalf of the organizing committee. Concerning the results of the October 22 House of Representatives election, Takada said that while the Liberal Democratic Party and its supplementary forces obtained a two-thirds majority of seats in the Lower House, the solidarity between pro-constitution opposition parties and concerned citizens advanced greatly.

Representatives of pro-constitution parties delivered speeches in solidarity. Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in his speech pointed out that Abe’s revision plan will pave the way for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces’ unlimited use of force abroad. Shii emphasized the importance of building a strong public movement to block the prime minister’s attempt.

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Edano Yukio expressed his determination to “restore constitutionalism by combining opposition parties’ struggles in the Diet and collaboration with concerned citizens.” Lawmakers of the Social Democratic and Democratic parties also spoke at the rally.

Kim Young-ho, who participated in the citizens’ movement in South Korea to oust former President Park Geun-hye, spoke as a guest speaker. Kim in his speech praised Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution as a treasure in Asia and a pillar of the postwar regime of peace.

Kawasaki Akira of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) said to the rally participants, “The Japanese government refuses to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty and the prime minister intends to amend the pacifist Article 9. These moves go counter to Japan’s postwar pledge of peace.”

On the same day, members of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) took to the streets at various locations in Tokyo as part of an ongoing campaign to collect 30-million signatures to oppose Abe’s constitutional revision push.

Past related articles:
> Civil Alliance calls for stronger 'counterbalancing' power [October 25, 2017]
> 30 million-signature campaign launched to defeat PM Abe’s attempt to revise Article 9 [September 5, 2017]
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